Gold Nanoparticles Used to Further Detection of Prostate Cancer

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". . .technology could help diagnose men with recurring prostate cancer years earlier than is currently possible."

Researchers have used gold nanoparticles to find previously undetectable levels of an antigen that is measured during testing for prostate cancer.

Experts at Northwestern University in the U.S. formulated a technology based on probes created using tiny gold particles to detect particularly low levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in men who had undergone radical prostatectomy procedures.

The gold nanoparticles have DNA strands attached to them, dubbed 'barcode DNA' because they are labels for specific PSA targets.

By being able to measure such low levels of the antigen, it is believed that the technology could help to diagnose men with recurring prostate cancer years earlier than is possible at present.

William Catalona, professor of urology at the Feinberg School and director of the Clinical Prostate Cancer Program at the Lurie Cancer Center, said: "Because the 'nano-PSA assay' is more sensitive than the current commercially available PSA tests, it may allow physicians to target adjuvant radiation for patients destined to have a life-threatening tumor recurrence."

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has previously used gold nanorods to show how they may be able to target specific cancer tumors and destroy them with energy that has been taken in from near-infrared light.

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